Friday, June 24, 2011

Musings: Odds & Ends

Just a few odds and ends for the end of the week….

First, the former Hawaii Superferry and its twin are for sale. Looks like even the military doesn’t want them now:

From the Hawaii OEQC Environmental Notice Page 13

Maritime Administration Offer for Public Sale of Two High Speed Vessels
The Maritime Administration of the U. S. Department of Transportation is offering for public sale, on an „„as is, where is‟‟ basis, two fast ferry vessels, ALAKAI, Official Number 1182234, and HUAKAI, Official Number 1215902. Bids may be submitted on or before 5 p.m. July 20, 2011. For additional details, please contact Mr. David Heller, Office of Shipyards and Marine Engineering, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366–1850; or e-mail Copies of this notice may also be obtained from that office. An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the Federal Register’s home page at: and the Government Printing Office‟s database at: (see, 76 FR 35942, June 20, 2011

As Dick Mayer notes in an email:

This notice is coming out the same week as the Bloomberg News article detailing the extensive "aluminum corrosion" on the simarly built, and even more recent, US Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) also built at the same Austal shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Here’s a link to the Intermediate Court of Appeals decision that upheld the manslaughter charges against Jimmy Pflueger, which means his trial will proceed. He’s charged in the 2006 deaths of seven people following the breach of Kaloko Dam. As you can see, the wheels of justice turn slowly, and since Pflueger is reportedly now 85, it raises the question of whether he’ll live to see himself vindicated or convicted.

And AFP is reporting that supposedly “genetically modified” marijuana is a growing (not sure if the pun was intended or not) problem in Columbia.

I’m also not sure the reporter's use of genetically modified is correct, as it’s unclear what material, exactly, has been inserted into the genetic sequence of the plant to "enhance" it. I think the reporter may have meant hybrid.

Anyway, it again makes the point that because marijuana is illegal, farmers in Columbia can earn more money growing cannabis than coffee and food crops. The Army, meanwhile, is claiming that the sales support FARC guerrilla forces. Maybe they learned that trick from the Reagan Administration, which used cocaine sales to finance the contras after Congress cut off funding.

The article also noted:

The hemp plant was originally legally used in the production of textiles and soccer balls until 1962, when authorities banned the use of marijauana [sic] in those products in order to comply with international standards.

So sad to see a plant useful in so many ways relegated to illegality and obscurity because of fear and ignorance.


Anonymous said...

My dad grew hemp in Europe before WWII as a crop to make cooking oil, rope (makes the best) and fabric.
He never tried smoking it.

Can be used to make ethanol too.

No demon weed.

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

"but KIUC attorney David Proudfoot said FFP will be paid “several million dollars if none go past the first stage.”

Good job on this piece, Joan. You dug up a lot.

Really curious why KIUC got sucked into an unnecessary agreement to revert NON-TRANSFERABLE PERMITS back to pirates.
Maybe David Bissell is more than we are being told and was in this scam long before he got to CEO. Or legal advice isnʻt up to snuff.

Anonymous said...

Colombia, not Columbia.